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USF tops all Florida schools in patents in 2018

Margie Manning

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Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

Medical and engineering advances helped propel the University of South Florida to a leading spot on a new list of academic patent holders.

USF secured 96 patents last year, according to a report from the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. USF outranked all other Florida schools. It was seventh among American public research universities, and No. 16 among universities worldwide in securing new patents in 2018. See the full rankings here.

“The patents our universities produce represent important processes and collaborations which have the potential to make a significant impact on society on a local, regional, national and global scale,” said Paul Sanberg, president of the National Academy of Inventors, which is headquartered on the USF Tampa campus. Sanberg is senior vice president for research, innovation & knowledge enterprise at USF, and president of the USF Research Foundation.

There’s a wide array of technologies behind the USF patents, ranging from clean energy solutions to sustainable water technologies to improved drug delivery.

“As part of our mission as a preeminent public research university, we have a responsibility to examine the most complex issues that impact our society and find novel, practical solutions. The ideas, technologies and products being developed by our talented faculty and students each day make tangible impacts on the world around us,” Judy Genshaft, USF president, said in a news release.

It’s the seventh year that USF has appeared in the rankings. In 2017, the school secured a record number of patents, 116, and placed fifth in the United States on last year’s list, according to WUSF. In 2016, USF had 114 patents.

In its news release, USF highlighted three technologies that were patented by its faculty in 2018.

• A process for converting landfill gas to high-value liquid fuel to create a cleaner, renewable energy source. The technology was the basis for a startup company, T2C-Energy, spun out from USF. The patent is held by USF College of Engineering professor Babu Joseph, associate professor John Kuhn and USF alumni Ali Gardezi, Timothy Roberge and Devin Walker. Walker is CEO of T2C-Energy.

• A process to use fibers from a prickly pear cactus to clean and purify water. USF College of Engineering Professor Norma Alcantar, associate professor Sylvia Thomas and master’s degree alum Yanay Pai fabricated an inexpensive and sustainable portable system that effectively removes arsenic and bacteria from water.

• A way to help treat Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders. A team of USF Morsani College of Medicine faculty developed new nanoparticles which can be safely delivered to the brain in a non-invasive manner. The technology was invented by professor Juan Sanchez-Ramos, assistant professor Vasyl Sava, assistant professor Shijie Song, distinguished professor Shyam Mohapatra and professor Subhra Mohapatra.

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